How To Get From Amsterdam To Bruges

Last Updated: August 25, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Wonder how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges?

In this article, we go over the different ways you get from Amsterdam to Bruges.

You have different options on how to get to Bruges from Amsterdam: train, bus, car, and yes, also by tour bus.

I am a Dutch tour guide, but I also have a crush on Bruges (even though it’s in Belgium, and not the Netherlands, it’s right next door).

Bruges (Brugge in Dutch) is a gorgeous old medieval city and I have visited it many times before. It’s not good for me with all the delicious chocolate all around, freshly warm baked waffles, and the alluring outside terraces for a drink and a snack, maybe that’s why I love it so much.

Even with all the tourists there, you can’t help but fall in love with Bruges once you’ve been.

It’s the number one requested next destination by customers and I have been asked this question so often I thought why not make an article about it! You’re reading it now 🙂

I also understand why both Amsterdam and Bruges are cities with the fairy tale magic feel about them.

If you’re in a hurry here is a quick rundown of your travel options to Bruges:

  • By Train: The quickest option. Travel time: 3 hours from Amsterdam to Bruges.
  • By Coach: This takes 4 1/2 hours but is significantly cheaper.
  • By Car: A car takes slightly longer than the train 3 1/2 hours on average.
  • By Tour Bus: Surprisingly enough a tour can be smart for a day trip.

If you want to book any of the transportation from above immediately:

Or stick around and we go over each option individually.

TIP: Do take into consideration that even the shortest travel of 3 hours means each way. So, you’ll be traveling a good 6-8 hours of your day. If that sounds like too much consider Delft as a Bruges alternative. A beautiful tiny city near The Hague and Rotterdam that is just as lovable and only one hour from Amsterdam.

Curious? Check out my post on Delft: Delfts Magic: 10 Must-Do Things To Do In Delft ✨

In the article you learn all about how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges the beautiful medieval city in Belgium.
How to get from Amsterdam to Bruges, the beautiful medieval city in Belgium.

Understanding Your Options

You have four different options when it comes to how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges: by train, bus, (rental) car, or with a guided tour.

When you don’t like to travel on your own I recommend traveling to Bruges on a tour. The tour I recommend leaves early and returns late. Leaving you enough time to discover Bruges in a meaningful way.

But if you don’t mind traveling on your own the most convenient way to travel is by train. The trip from Amsterdam to Bruges takes just under 3 hours and you’ll need to transfer trains one or two times. Prices range from €30 to €100 one-way, depending on when you book your tickets to Bruges and the class of travel. 2nd class has the cheapest prices, but will also be busier and will have smaller seats.

Traveling by coach is a good alternative if costs are a factor. From Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station direct buses leave multiple times per day and take 4 1/2 hours to Bruges. Bus ticket prices from Amsterdam to Bruges are usually half compared to train prices.

Renting a car allows you to move at your own pace and make stops as you wish. If you’re going to sites in the surrounding areas of the countryside, a rental car can be a smart decision. is my favorite platform. I find they most often have the best rates. Discover cars is an alternative. Check them both for the best comparison.

Traveling by Train From Amsterdam To Bruges

Thalys at Amsterdam. You can take it to Antwerp or Brussels and transfer there to Bruges.
Thalys in Amsterdam, you take it to Antwerp or Brussels – © Hidden Holland

You either take the Thalys high-speed train or the IC Brussels to Belgium, both travel on the high-speed line. Travel time is about the same.

There are no direct services from Amsterdam to Bruges and back. Your trip always requires a minimum of one transfer. You travel either via Antwerp or via Brussels, depending on your departure time. Sometimes you also need to transfer in Ghent.

When you book your ticket it will tell you the total travel time and how often – and where – to transfer.

If you’d like to travel with the high-speed Thalys train, then you can look out for these connections. But Thalys train tickets are usually a bit higher priced than Intercity Brussels, which also runs on the high-speed track but looks like a normal train.

The first train departs from Amsterdam leaves at 7:11 a.m. and it gets you in Bruges at 10 a.m. Trains also stop in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam. The last train back is at 7:58 p.m. and arrives at Amsterdam Central station at 10:44 p.m.

PS: The information above was correct on the date of the last update at the top of this article, but timetables can change so check the official railways website. Just enter your travel dates and you will actual departure and arrival times and current pricing.

As you can see the travel time from Amsterdam to Bruges takes about 3 hours.

That leaves you with 9 hours of free time in Bruges. You can also take a train one hour later, or return an hour earlier and still have plenty of time.

Actually, there are many options to take. Although you may want to stick to the times above, to maximise your time in Bruges.

All trains leave from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. The Bruges train station is just outside of the city center. It makes for a pleasant 15-minute walk or you can take a taxi to the central square or a local bus. I personally prefer the walk, but if that is not an option for you there are good alternatives.

Traveling by train allows you to enjoy a comfortable ride while looking out the window and watching the Dutch and Belgian countryside pass you. What I always appreciate about this mode of transport is that I do not have to watch traffic. I can just read. And walk around to stretch my legs.

Plus, enjoy amenities like onboard free WiFi, all making your journey more enjoyable. I always travel 1st class on this journey. It’s relatively quieter, and the seats are wider and a little more comfortable. It’s worth the premium (about 50%) for me.

Tickets start as low as €30 one-way in 2nd class and the lowest fare is €50 in 1st class. But those are usually only available months in advance. These early bird fares go quickly. Prices can go up to triple that amount the closer to the departure date you book on popular services.

Intercity direct trains at Rotterdam Central station.
IC Brussels or Thalys to Belgium – Photo: NS

My advice: book your tickets in advance, really, book as much in advance as possible for the best prices and special deals available. Bookings come with seat reservations for the first part of your journey between The Netherlands and Belgium if you travel on Thalys. For the domestic leg in Belgium, or if you travel on IC Brussels there are no seat reservations. 

You can buy tickets online from Amsterdam to Bruges from NS International, the official website of the Dutch Railways.

Amsterdam to Bruges Bus

There are several direct long-distance buses from Amsterdam to Bruges. These are all operated by Flixbus. The bus leaves from Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station. So you do need to go there first. The bus trip itself takes 4 1/2 hours with two stops, in Rotterdam and Antwerp. However, no need to transfer.

If you take the first bus at 5:45 a.m. you get to Bruges just after 10 a.m. That is early! But you still have your day. If you prefer to go later, then the bus is only a viable option for multi-day trips to Bruges.

Traveling by coach compared to train does save you money. Ticket prices are usually half. You can buy a ticket for the bus from Amsterdam to Bruges here (and look at the journey planner).

Amsterdam to Bruges by Car

If easy to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by car. You have two options, first, you travel south (A2 > A27) to Antwerp. From there you can take the North Ring Road. Passing a tunnel that charges a toll. Or you can drive via Ghent.

The 2nd route is a bit longer, but personally, this is the route I prefer. The one crossing the toll tunnel in Antwerp is a little bit faster but an uncomfortable road at the end. It’s not all motorway. If you travel over Ghent it’s a motorway all the way. I like that better.

Renting a car in The Netherlands is easy and straightforward. But I do have some tips.

First of all, I would not recommend renting from a location in Amsterdam City Center. I would travel to the airport instead by train and pick up my car there.

Traffic in Amsterdam is chaotic and slow. You don’t want to be involved in an accident within the first minutes of your rental, or stuck on a small one-way street behind a garbage truck.

From the airport, you can access the motorway immediately making the journey a lot less stressful.

Once in Bruges, you can park at large parking lots on the outskirts of town. From there you can usually walk or take a shuttle. The parking fee of a few euros includes bus transportation to and from the old town.

Parking is signposted when exiting the motorway.

You can also park in parking garages in the old town at slightly higher prices, but prices are still more reasonable compared to Amsterdam.

Still, I would opt for the parking lots. Driving in an old town is a hassle and it’s easy to get into a traffic jam.

For car rentals, I always recommend two companies. Rental Cars, the one I usually end up using myself. I love their prices, interface, and service. But Discovery Cars is also good and has different pricing. It’s always best to check both.

Taking a Guided Tour Bus to Bruges

Gorgeous view in Bruges, Belgium.
Gorgeous view in Bruges, Belgium.

I am not the biggest fan of a guided bus tour usually. I found them always a little stereotyping. But at the same time, I do see their value.

You get where you need to go without having to worry about anything yourself.

Your transportation is taken care of, and there is a live tour guide that can tell your stories and anecdotes.

Recently I have been on Zaanse Schans windmill tour myself and although it was very touristy it was also a lot of fun.

If you’re in Amsterdam you’re in luck. The tour company I recommend runs daily Amsterdam to Bruges tours almost daily.

This Amsterdam to Bruges bus tour includes a one-hour guided city walk and on top of that, you have 4-5 hours of free time. Enough to take a boat ride, buy chocolates, and just take in the beauty of the city.

Another smaller company also runs day tours from Amsterdam to Bruges by coach you can find them by clicking the link.

Find A Place To Stay In Bruges

Search for accommodation in Bruges on different platforms is this handy map and ensure the lowest prices. What's also great about this map is that it shows both hotels in Bruges, as VRBO rentals (AirBNB but then cheaper). The prices listed in the map below are random. Update your (intended) travel dates to see accurate prices. TIP: Zoom out on the map (-) in the bottom right corner. This will show more options and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions Amsterdam to Bruges

What is the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Bruges?

The fastest way is often by train, which takes around 3 hours. The car takes about 30 minutes (if you don’t hit traffic in Antwerp). The reason is that the last part of the trip goes over a slower road.

Are there direct trains from Amsterdam to Bruges?

No, there are no direct trains. You typically need to change trains in Antwerp or Brussels, and sometimes also in Ghent.

Is there an airport in Bruges?

There is no airport in Bruges. The nearest major airport to Bruges is Brussels Airport. From there you can take a train (leaving from the underground station inside the terminal building) to Bruges. There are no flights from Amsterdam to Bruges.

Is it possible to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by boat?

It’s not possible to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by boat. At least not for regular travelers. You might have a cruise itinerary that calls at both cities, that is possible. But you can’t book tickets just between these two cities.

Is it cheaper to travel by bus or train from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Bus travel is generally cheaper than train travel, but it might take longer.

Where can I buy train tickets from Amsterdam to Bruges?

I recommend booking your tickets with the Dutch Railways on their website. The earlier you book the cheaper tickets will be. I recommend booking first-class tickets for this journey. It will be relatively quieter, and you have a more comfortable seat.

Can I do a day trip from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Yes, an Amsterdam to Bruges day trip is quite doable, but it will be a long day. Consider the travel time which will be 3-4 hours each way. I recommended staying overnight in Bruges to fully enjoy Bruges.

Are there guided tours from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Yes, several tour operators offer day trips or multi-day tours from Amsterdam to Bruges. I recommend this Bruges Day tour, an alternative tour is this one.

Is Bruges worth visiting if I’m staying in Amsterdam?

Absolutely! Bruges is known for its medieval architecture, canals, and charming atmosphere, making it a popular destination. And let’s not forget about the delicious chocolate.

What is the best way to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges

The train is the best way to get from Amsterdam to Bruges for most visitors since it’s the quickest way to get there. You can find schedules and train prices here.

How far is Brugge from Amsterdam?

Brugge (or Bruges in English) is 257 kilometers / 160 miles from Amsterdam. You can cover this distance in 3 hours by train, or 3 1/2 hours by car. Buses usually take 4 to 4 1/2 hours.


Beautiful view on Bruges at sunset.
Beautiful view on Bruges at sunset.

Whether you choose the convenience of an organized tour, the train, a cheaper coach service, or the freedom of a rented car, your journey from Amsterdam to Brugge (Bruges) is bound to be an enjoyable journey to one of the most beautiful little cities in Europe.

PS: For me personally, a boat tour and a walk around the medieval UNESCO heritage city are always both highlights of a visit (apart from eating).

Here is a combined ticket for a guided walk and boat tour around beautiful Bruges.

Safe travels!

Are you going to Bruges?

I’d love to hear your thoughts: How do you plan to get there? Which activities are you planning in Bruges? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬.

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Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

6 thoughts on “How To Get From Amsterdam To Bruges”

    • I’m so happy to hear that, that is why I create the site in the first place. If you get to Bruges I hope you’ll have a magical time there!

  1. We are planning a trip to Amsterdam (and a few other european cities) later this year and hadn’t considered going to Bruges! But having read your article (I have been stalking your site over the last few days!) I am quite interested in taking a detour into Belgium, It looked beautiful so I did a bit of a google and it looks so quaint!
    Thank you for introducing me to new ideas.. I can still learn even at my age 😉

    • 🤣 one of the best things learning new things. Bruges is so cute, and not that far from the Netherlands. But it is 4 hours each way on average so my tip would also be don’t plan to do too much or it will be overwhelming and not as enjoyable. If you have enough space in your calendar absolutely go, it’s beautiful. But if you have to squeeze it in, then go for a city closer to Amsterdam with similar levels of cuteness like Amersfoort (30 min), Delft (60 min), or Deventer (75 min). I love you’re finding this website helpful, that’s why I create it.


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